The holistic method, the belief that the parts of a whole are intimately interconnected, is at the heart of everything we do at Trustcare. We pride ourselves that our approach to care takes into consideration the physical health and emotional wellbeing of our customers. But for holism to reach our customers, it must start from within our company, in our staff recruitment and retainment practices.
Trustcare is an independent living service in the North West established in 2005 under Trafford Housing Trust. We offer a range of sheltered and extra care services including home care, which support our customers and their families when they need it most.
At recruitment stage, we don’t just ask competency-based questions. We also do a psychometric test that looks at the applicant’s personality and character as we believe that recruiting people who have the same values as the organisation will not only help them with job satisfaction, but it will also benefit the people who will be receiving care. As the roles can be challenging, we score applicants on:
- How conscientious they are
- How tough minded they are
- How conventional the are
- Whether they are an extrovert or an introvert
- How dependable they are
- How they would work in a team
The scoring for those that pass this test indicate that they are more in-line with our values as a Trust. Recruiters and hiring managers alike focus heavily on skill-sets which, are indeed important, but what’s nice about a holistic approach is the entirety of the candidate is considered, not just their proficiency with daily duties.
With growing demands for care, a high staff turnover and an abundance of unfilled job vacancies, employers need to take action now to ensure that they have the right skilled workers to provide the best quality care possible. Investing in staff retention is vital to the success of any organisation, and at Trustcare, one of the main reasons why carers stay with us is because of the good working conditions we provide such as guaranteed working hours, fair wages, flexibility and an employee benefits package.
As a housing association with a care provider, our care employees are entitled to the same employee benefits as those who work for Trafford Housing Trust. These include a gym membership, healthcare cover, sick leave and a pension scheme. They also have access to the services available to our Trafford Housing Trust customers, such as housing, financial advice and our inhouse resilience Team.
These are all benefits that most carers in the sector to not have access to, especially those working for care agencies, and some care homes. However, while these have played a key role in staff retention over the years, one of the challenges Trustcare, amongst many other care providers, continue to battle during this pandemic is ensuring staff safety. The sector has lost many carers because of the unanticipated risk that now comes with the job, with many believing the risk is too high. What we’ve done and will continue to do beyond covid is provide all the necessarily PPE and support all employees with their health and mental wellbeing.
Growing your own managers
It’s important that people working in adult social care have the right skills and knowledge to provide high quality care and support. Everyone should be able to take part in learning and development to make sure they can carry out their role effectively, and to help them personally. At Trustcare, the support and development of people is held in high regard. While we pride ourselves in the benefits we have available to our employees, we are even more proud of the personal and professional development opportunities we have available to them.
We believe in growing our own leaders, and for us to ensure that our staff have the right skills in place, we believe it comes down to understanding each team member’s position, their aspirations and the competencies needed to be successful in the role. Once we define these, we can assist with closing out any gaps through personal and professional development. It helps to improve morale and maintain retention levels by illustrating their value, while also optimising their own expertise.
Over the years, we’ve had many people join Trustcare as carers and work their way up through various qualifications, which we fund, to positions such Registered Managers, Head of Independent Living and Business Partnership Manager. Some even left their roles as carers and moved to different departments such as HR. The only three things that stop a person from performing in their role and emerging as a leader is a lack of the right skills and knowledge, or a lack of motivation. We strive to maintain our holistic approach to recruitment and retention to help the care industry to continue growing.